I think the majority of us struggle. And I think most of the struggles are self-imposed. The world of today is filled with myriad distractions. Advertising tells us that if we don’t buy innumerable products, then we won’t be cool or in or living up to our full potential—whatever it is with which they’re brow-beating us in their ads.
For those who aren’t part of the daily rat race to acquire things, there are those who struggle to make enough to put their kids in college. Others scramble simply to make ends meet. And there are those who must fight to merely survive.
And beyond the scraping for subsistence, there are still others who are blessed (or cursed) with the question of the meaning of their lives. That also seems like a struggle. What’s the point? Why am I here if I’m going to die anyway? It may be a question that cannot be answered while one is physically incarnate. I’m positive that the meaning of our individual lives is far beyond our ability to comprehend while still in corporeal form.
In an introduction to Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time, Dr. Carl Sagan wrote: “…we know the Universe is everything. We know it is expanding. But, if it is everything, into what is it expanding?” I paraphrased him there, but he used that as an example of his belief that there are some things that we, as humans, just cannot comprehend.
We are spirits in the material world.
But I also believe that, in a spiritual sense, we are choosing our lives to learn or experience something that ultimately can only be appreciated from the perspective our higher Self. I mean, if we knew why we chose to experience this life, it would undermine our purpose.
In her book, Dying to Be Me, Anita Moorjani speaks of her Near Death Experience and says, “I knew that was really the only purpose of life: to be our self, live our truth, and be the love that we are.”
So I have been attempting to be more focused on being as opposed to doing. The primary focus of Being is to respond from our emotions or feelings while staying in the present moment. Doing focuses on the future by creating a series of tasks to take us from here to there while losing focus on the present.
Living in the moment—as opposed to dwelling on the past or worrying about the future—releases us from struggle.
Yet in this physical world, we are constantly reminded of the future. What will happen if I don’t do well with this proposal, or on this test? For some it is as simple as where the next meal or drink of clean water will come from. For some it is whether they will even be alive tomorrow. And for that, none of us has an answer.
But if our Creator loves us, and we live as eternal Beings, there must be no fear. We can look for and become aware of the good, His presence, in everything and every moment. And, perhaps, once we are not living in fear, we can pause for a moment to help others who are struggling (if they want the help…).
I was recently at an ophthalmologist’s office. They were referring me to a retinal specialist; passing me onto yet another step up the hierarchy of doctors. So, I was being sent off into the unknown with no answers; yet with some trepidation that possibly something more serious could be wrong. My eyes had been dilated (for the third time in as many weeks) and I was moving cautiously toward the waiting room and the inevitable (bright!) exit beyond.
From behind me I heard a female voice saying,”Would you like a cookie?”
I said, “I really would, but I’m going to have to decline.” I paused for a moment then continued, “You know. How bad can life be when, at any given moment, a beautiful woman can come up to you and offer you a cookie?!”
I heard some chuckles and awww’s from the staff and what I could only guess were other people in the waiting room. But it wasn’t a simple joke for me. I really felt that way. You never know what is around the next corner. If, in this life, there exists the possibility of a moment when a woman can approach me and offer me a cookie, then it has got to be a life worth enjoying.